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Company Spotlight: Epon by Endo

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Golfers who are passionate about equipment know the name Endo, a forging house that accounts for 90 percent of forging on the professional golf tours worldwide. But what some of those golfers might not know is that on top of forging products for companies like Bridgestone, Callaway and Nike, Endo also produces its own line of equipment, called Epon.

While Epon is relatively unknown in the US, the company has a 35 percent marketshare of custom clubs sales in Japan. According to William Cho, North America distributor for Epon Golf USA, the company is taking steps to grow in the US and Canada, placing its products in the hands of certified clubfitters who are handpicked based on their expertise and geography.

Chris Darakdjian, owner of Pure Impact Golf Studio in Commerce, Mich., is one of those fitters. Darakdjian has been fitting golfers for Epon clubs for nearly two years, and has been impressed with the quality of Epon products, especially the irons.

[youtube id=”VNAuJXoH8aM” width=”620″ height=”360″]

“The tolerances are pretty much always perfect,” Darakdjian said. “Most golfers who I fit hit them longer than what they came in with.”

According to Cho, the secret of Epon golf clubs is the 40 years of experience that its parent company, Endo, has spent designing, developing and forging equipment for major OEM brands.

“Throughout the years, Endo has accumulated so much information and knowledge on club design and manufacturing,” Cho said. “Endo is the only manufacturer in the world with their level of technology, design, and R&D team to truly develop and create a product from beginning to end — raw material selection to retail sales.”

That control gives Epon the ability to forge complex iron head shapes that other companies are forced to cast, according to Cho, creating products that have a much better feel. The company also uses a special robot laser welding process on its more forgiving iron models that Cho says creates club faces with 0.83 COR, the maximum allowed by golf’s ruling bodies.

Epon 502Epon 702

For Darakdjian, this has resulted in higher ball speeds and higher smash factors during fittings, which has translated to longer distance. All this technology and attention to detail comes at a price, however. While Epon does not provide specific pricing for its products, sets usually cost $2000 or more when puchased from an Epon Certified Club Fitter.

Click here to see in-hand photos of more Epon products in the “Japanese Domestic/non-US market equipment” forum. 

epon irons

Here is a gallery of photos

 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. John

    Jul 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    So J40’s from Bridgestone are just as good as epon would you say however hopefully cheaper. Does endo make the Titleist Mb CB blades and Mizuno forged products. Cheers

  2. MyBluC4

    Jan 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely stunning equipment in terms of design and construction.

  3. pablo

    Jan 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Interesting. I hit Bridgestone J40 cavity backs and never knew that Epon made them.

    • no@thanks

      Jan 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      I hit J40’s as well, but ENDO makes them. Not EPON, that’s the house brand from ENDO.

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Beef’s clubs. 

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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